On December 31, 2010, the America’s Cup Organizing Committee selected the City of San Francisco as the event sponsor to host the 34th America’s Cup sailing events taking place in 2012 and 2013. Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a 34th America’s Cup Host and Venue Agreement with the America’s Cup Event Authority and America’s Cup Organizing Committee.
In 2012, the City of San Francisco plans to host two America’s Cup World Series regattas as part of a circuit of sailing events being conducted at other U.S. and international venues. The San Francisco World Series regattas are scheduled to occur August 11–19, 2012, and August 25–September 2, 2012. Each World Series regatta consists of fleet and match races and determines a regatta winner, but the outcomes do not affect the Louis Vuitton Cup or the America’s Cup Finals Match in 2013.
In August 2013, the City of San Francisco plans to host the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series to determine the contestant to race the Defender of the 34th America’s Cup. During the challenger selection series, teams will compete in a series of fleet and match races to determine the Louis Vuitton Cup winner, and that winning team will compete against the America’s Cup Defender in the 34th America’s Cup Finals Match, a best of nine match races, currently planned for September 7–24, 2013, and expected to draw the most spectator activity.
The 2012 World Series regattas feature 45-foot winged-sail catamarans (AC45) which have attained speeds in excess of 30 knots. In 2013, the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals match will feature larger 72-foot catamarans (AC72), each crewed by a team of 11 competitors. The AC72 is predicted to attain speeds in excess of 40 knots. The America’s Cup Event Authority has selected venues for each regatta around the world to showcase racing close to spectators ashore and via broadcast media. In San Francisco, they propose to take advantage of the natural amphitheater that the Central Bay and City waterfront provides.